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  1. #1

    THE SUPREMES & THE FOUR TOPS-It's Got to Be a Miracle

    This is was so very pleasant. Jean sounds so serene and that's Lawrence Payton sharing the lead with her on this gem:


  2. #2

    Cool

    I really like this song. Lawrence and Jeans voices blend so well together that a duet album would have been very interesting. I'm sure he could have had a very successful solo career had he wanted it. His voice always reminds me of Donny Hathaway.

  3. #3
    Ollie I agree about Lawrence being reminiscent of Donny. As for the song, it's a no for me. I've never cared for this version.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    I really like this song. Lawrence and Jeans voices blend so well together that a duet album would have been very interesting. I'm sure he could have had a very successful solo career had he wanted it. His voice always reminds me of Donny Hathaway.
    YES! Donny Hathaway! That's who he reminds me of. Thanks Ollie

  5. #5
    This recording reminds of something that would have been a big hit in the early 60s. It just has that feel to it to me.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    This recording reminds of something that would have been a big hit in the early 60s. It just has that feel to it to me.
    This was first recorded by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston in the 60s.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Ollie I agree about Lawrence being reminiscent of Donny. As for the song, it's a no for me. I've never cared for this version.
    I have to agree. This was not one of the highlights on a very indifferent album.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mowest View Post
    This was first recorded by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston in the 60s.
    I have that album, but it's been 100 years since I've listened to it. I am sure they did an awesome job with it as well. It, the song would have made an excellent single.

  9. #9
    I found it (by Marvin and Kim). It is nice, but I prefer the Supremes/Four Tops version. It is clear the vast difference in recording sound quality from the 60s to the 70s


  10. #10
    I much prefer Marvin and Kim's version. It should've been a major hit.

  11. #11
    I always loved the "Magnificent 7" album. I thought it was well done with a great line up of songs. I liked the way it included several covers along with some originals. I also thought the groups were all in fine voice and just seemed to be having so much fun singing together. There seemed to be a lot of chemistry especially between Levi and Jean.

    "Got to Be a Miracle" to me is a highlight, along with "Without the One You Love," "You've Got What it Takes" (love Mary on this one), and "Reach Out and Touch."

    I didn't realize it was Payton on lead on "Miracle." I'm not an expert on the 4 Tops. I didn't realize that they occasionally shared leads. I always assumed it was Levi on all the songs until more recently when I learned that they all took turns at times.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I always loved the "Magnificent 7" album. I thought it was well done with a great line up of songs. I liked the way it included several covers along with some originals. I also thought the groups were all in fine voice and just seemed to be having so much fun singing together. There seemed to be a lot of chemistry especially between Levi and Jean.

    "Got to Be a Miracle" to me is a highlight, along with "Without the One You Love," "You've Got What it Takes" (love Mary on this one), and "Reach Out and Touch."

    I didn't realize it was Payton on lead on "Miracle." I'm not an expert on the 4 Tops. I didn't realize that they occasionally shared leads. I always assumed it was Levi on all the songs until more recently when I learned that they all took turns at times.
    It was a great album in my opinion. I actually like all three albums they did together.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    It was a great album in my opinion. I actually like all three albums they did together.
    I do too! I always liked "Return" although I think it suffered from too many originals and not enough covers. I always love to hear Motown groups' take on well known songs, even other Motown artists' songs. I had never played "Dynamite" much but since the "Magnificent" set have gotten to really enjoy that one, as well as the vault tracks.

    So much great talent in those seven!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I always loved the "Magnificent 7" album. I thought it was well done with a great line up of songs. I liked the way it included several covers along with some originals. I also thought the groups were all in fine voice and just seemed to be having so much fun singing together. There seemed to be a lot of chemistry especially between Levi and Jean.

    "Got to Be a Miracle" to me is a highlight, along with "Without the One You Love," "You've Got What it Takes" (love Mary on this one), and "Reach Out and Touch."
    Side One was damn near perfect. The only cut I didn't care for was "You've Got What It Takes". But the other five cuts on that side...excellent. Side two was a let down. For the longest time I really only cared for "River Deep". I've since come to like "A Taste of Honey" and "Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing".

    While no one could ever "best" the original "Reach Out and Touch" for me, I think had Motown released the duet version from Mag 7, it might have been a bigger hit than the original. It's so different. I love it.

  15. #15
    Of the two versions, i still prefer the laid back vibe of Jean and Lawrence....by a pip.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    I do too! I always liked "Return" although I think it suffered from too many originals and not enough covers. I always love to hear Motown groups' take on well known songs, even other Motown artists' songs. I had never played "Dynamite" much but since the "Magnificent" set have gotten to really enjoy that one, as well as the vault tracks.

    So much great talent in those seven!
    The only issue I have is with Motown. They released the first duet album to close to the Supremes album "New Ways, But Love Stays". I remember a lot of Motown albums were out that Christmas (1970) and you had 2-3 albums in the stores by the Supremes or including the Supremes, along with all the others from the Jackson 5, Four Tops, Temptations etc,etc etc.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie9 View Post
    Of the two versions, i still prefer the laid back vibe of Jean and Lawrence....by a pip.
    It has a wistful type quality to it. The fact that they slowed the pace on it a bit made it really work for me. The harmonies were perfection as well.

  18. #18
    Marvin and Kim made a great duet. I wished they had done more together. I also wished Motown had issued some solo albums on Kim.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    The only issue I have is with Motown. They released the first duet album to close to the Supremes album "New Ways, But Love Stays". I remember a lot of Motown albums were out that Christmas (1970) and you had 2-3 albums in the stores by the Supremes or including the Supremes, along with all the others from the Jackson 5, Four Tops, Temptations etc,etc etc.
    There was a lot of product from Motown that year and they'd always have a special push with their Fall releases in time for Christmas.

    To me that was the defining year for Motown LPs, 1970. So many great releases, and they'd all go on sale at the Korvette's when they came out if you watched the paper. It seems so funny to think that we had to wait for the Sunday paper to find out what albums were coming out, where now folks know about them months ahead of time. I still remember the huge walls of album cover displays at the store. And there you go as well, remember record stores...?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Side One was damn near perfect. The only cut I didn't care for was "You've Got What It Takes". But the other five cuts on that side...excellent. Side two was a let down. For the longest time I really only cared for "River Deep". I've since come to like "A Taste of Honey" and "Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing".

    While no one could ever "best" the original "Reach Out and Touch" for me, I think had Motown released the duet version from Mag 7, it might have been a bigger hit than the original. It's so different. I love it.
    I think it was released as a single in the UK as i recall.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post

    I didn't realize it was Payton on lead on "Miracle." I'm not an expert on the 4 Tops. I didn't realize that they occasionally shared leads. I always assumed it was Levi on all the songs until more recently when I learned that they all took turns at times.
    Kenneth, I grew up listening and buying all the Four Tops albums and thought I knew everything about the recordings themselves. Like you, it was only in last 20 or so years that I realized there were quite a few recordings that were featuring Lawrence rather than Levi on lead. Listening to them over the years, it never stuck out to me that I wasn't listening to Levi. Their voices are so different yet there's a particular timbre in their voice where they sound so similar. Even now, I must make a conscious effort to realize that it's not Levi on lead. It just goes to demonstrate their magic as a truly intertwined group, musically and as bonded friends.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    There was a lot of product from Motown that year and they'd always have a special push with their Fall releases in time for Christmas.

    To me that was the defining year for Motown LPs, 1970. So many great releases, and they'd all go on sale at the Korvette's when they came out if you watched the paper. It seems so funny to think that we had to wait for the Sunday paper to find out what albums were coming out, where now folks know about them months ahead of time. I still remember the huge walls of album cover displays at the store. And there you go as well, remember record stores...?
    Kenneth you bring up so many memories in your posts....thank you! I remember the Sunday paper ads with the pictures of the latest albums on sale. We also had a lot of places to buy records in those days.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by jobucats View Post
    Kenneth, I grew up listening and buying all the Four Tops albums and thought I knew everything about the recordings themselves. Like you, it was only in last 20 or so years that I realized there were quite a few recordings that were featuring Lawrence rather than Levi on lead. Listening to them over the years, it never stuck out to me that I wasn't listening to Levi. Their voices are so different yet there's a particular timbre in their voice where they sound so similar. Even now, I must make a conscious effort to realize that it's not Levi on lead. It just goes to demonstrate their magic as a truly intertwined group, musically and as bonded friends.
    Jobucats, partially the reason for that could have been the producers forcing Levi to sing in a higher key on some recordings. He was a baritone and the designated lead singer which was kind of rare in those days.

  24. #24
    @marv2, thanks. I probably should’ve mentioned that in a way we have to remember newspapers too. I think I was the last one on my street to get a newspaper every day and I quit mine It has to be at least 10 years ago. More nostalgia! But yes I still remember those full-page ads in the movie section from the local Korvettes in Detroit.

  25. #25
    @jobucats, That’s interesting that you as a major fan didn’t always detect the difference in their voices. I suppose it’s like Gladys and Wanda in the Marvelettes. They could often sound quite alike but they could also sound quite different. I’m gonna start listening harder to the four Tops vocals from now on. I sure wish we’d get some of their back catalog released. They are long overdue, especially their middle period Which I really love, for example the albums soul spin and four tops now which I think was the one they later renamed MacArthur Park after the single.

  26. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    @jobucats, That’s interesting that you as a major fan didn’t always detect the difference in their voices. I suppose it’s like Gladys and Wanda in the Marvelettes. They could often sound quite alike but they could also sound quite different. I’m gonna start listening harder to the four Tops vocals from now on. I sure wish we’d get some of their back catalog released. They are long overdue, especially their middle period Which I really love, for example the albums soul spin and four tops now which I think was the one they later renamed MacArthur Park after the single.
    I spoke to Levi Stubbs Jr yesterday. He's a friend of mine. I think I'll ask him next time if there are any plans that he is aware of to release more from the Tops back catalog. He's not in the music business.

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by marv2 View Post
    I spoke to Levi Stubbs Jr yesterday. He's a friend of mine. I think I'll ask him next time if there are any plans that he is aware of to release more from the Tops back catalog. He's not in the music business.
    That’d be great. How lucky to know him.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    There was a lot of product from Motown that year and they'd always have a special push with their Fall releases in time for Christmas.

    To me that was the defining year for Motown LPs, 1970. So many great releases, and they'd all go on sale at the Korvette's when they came out if you watched the paper. It seems so funny to think that we had to wait for the Sunday paper to find out what albums were coming out, where now folks know about them months ahead of time. I still remember the huge walls of album cover displays at the store. And there you go as well, remember record stores...?
    If I remember correctly, The Korvette’s sales price was $3.33 or close to it. If you waited long enough, Spartan-Atlantic priced most Motown @ $1.99.

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by RanRan79 View Post
    Side One was damn near perfect. The only cut I didn't care for was "You've Got What It Takes". But the other five cuts on that side...excellent. Side two was a let down. For the longest time I really only cared for "River Deep". I've since come to like "A Taste of Honey" and "Aint Nothing Like The Real Thing".

    While no one could ever "best" the original "Reach Out and Touch" for me, I think had Motown released the duet version from Mag 7, it might have been a bigger hit than the original. It's so different. I love it.
    I agree that the 4/4 beat of the duet version of Reach is preferred to the 3/4 waltz rhythm of Diana's solo. at least at the time of original release. of course since then Diana has worked the song into an anthem.

    as for the duet albums, i think the first had the most commercial appeal. while it was commendable that for the 2nd they did mostly original material, that original material wasn't always all that stellar.

    And of course in hindsight, it's clear that the strategy of the duets conflicted with the re-establishment of the Supremes sans Ross. the number of duet albums should have been reduced and they should have been released in a manner NOT to interfere with the group work. Plus they should have arranged for more combined promotional activity with the Tops and Sups to PUSH the material and generate sales.

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